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Furuno Chartplotters: Buying Guide & Recommendations

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/15/2011

Furuno chartplotters are outstanding marine navigational devices that have spot-on chartplotting capabilities for a large variety of sea-going vessels. We'll look at what sets them apart in general from similar products and then provide the best recommendations to suit your particular craft.

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    Furuno: A Trusted Name for Chartplotting and More

    Furuno chartplotters are highly respected navigational instruments that have served both commercial and recreational boaters for a long time now. When the heavy fog on a dark night rolls in, or when the seas are more than unkind in dolling out the mighty swells of a tempest, the captain can remain confident in the abilities of their Furuno first mate. Any of Furuno’s chartplotters will constantly keep marine navigators apprised of their position in the water, their relation to the shore, and any other hazards (natural or manmade) that might damage or sink their vessel. What you will find with many of Furuno’s devices is that they're multifunctional, with built-in GPS capabilities, radar, depth finders, and fishfinding features too. For a look at the other big names in this technology which focuses on boater safety at all times, take a look at Marine Chartplotters: Buying Guide and Recommendations.

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    The GP7000/NT Series Chartplotter

    Rating Average

    Furuno GP 7000 This is a sterling, award-winning unit with a nice wide screen while remaining compact enough not to take up too much room on your console. Most importantly, you'll have a constantly updating and accurate position of where your boat is on the color chart. It's a GPS/WAAS (find out how WAAS enabled devices provide the best accuracy here) plotter that combines video plotting and echosounding capabilities for vessels of various sizes. The 7000FNT features a 7" sunlight viewable color TFT LCD display with a 16:9 wide aspect ratio. On that display, you're given four different viewing options. Course Plot mode gives you general information about the seas around you; coastlines, landmarks, buoys, hazards, and more that you need to be always apprised of.

    The Nav Data mode displays vital navigational information in large print so when you're futzing around with something else, you can still see the display from a distance. The Steering mode and Highway mode are for the purposes of following a predetermined route. The user interface is rather easy to figure out and handy dual SD card slots provide your detailed marine charts and other data you want or need. The 7000/NT series utilizes C-Map NT MAX SD charts. On these marine navigational charts you'll see water depth, contours, coastlines, lighthouses, buoys, and more. You’ll find one that retails for a little over $2000 on

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    Furuno FUR-MFDBB NavNet-3D Black Box Processor with Inputs from GPS Antenna, Radar, Sounder Module, and Weather Receivers

    Rating Average

    MFDBB NavNet-3D This is simply the cream of the crop from Furuno, so jam-packed with the latest amazingly innovative features that it almost seems like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie. But be forewarned, all these bells and whistles will cost you, the MSRP is $10,995. The built-in NavNet 3D utilizes cutting-edge technology called “Time Zero" which instantly redraws charts, allows for zooming in and out, changing from multiple chart display modes, and more chart handling functions seamlessly. That means no lag time at all between essentially any type of view you'd like to see at the moment. 3D chart rendering is something you have to experience to believe, and it creates a superior sense of situational awareness to your surroundings no matter where you are on the water. The water tower you see looking landward looks exactly like the water tower on the chart.

    Satellite Photo Fusion combines a hybrid blend of detailed satellite imagery and critical chart data. On the display you can see Radar overlay, Sirius Network Weather Receiver, Automatic Identification System (AIS) for tracking other ships, chart symbols, routes, depth soundings, and anything else. If there is a mermaid in the water, she'll be on your screen in all her 3D glory. But even with this massive variety of information available, accessing it and alternating in and out of modes is not difficult due to the ROTOKEY on-screen revolving menu function which gives you instant access to all of the functions and viewing options. Along with the ROTOKEY, you have point-and-click cursor pad controls and can even connect a conventional mouse using a generic USB mouse to further simplify operation. Currently, you can buy one for just shy of $10,000 on

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    Furuno chartplotters are exceptional navigational aids and are well suited for a wide variety of different sized vessels. Since many of them are expandable, you can add components as you want or need them. On this page, we'll give you the specs and details on the FUR-MFD8 NavNet-3D 8-Inch Marine, Furuno NavNet GP1920C vx2 Chartplotter, and give you a much cheaper option in the Furuno FCV 620 Color 5.6 in. fishfinder if you're primarily just interested in fishing.
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    Furuno FUR-MFD8 NavNet-3D 8-Inch Marine GPS Navigator and Chartplotter

    Rating Average

    Furuno MFD8 This is another 3D offering in the highly touted NavNet series that features an 8" diagonal highly readable LCD screen with brilliant resolution. It comes preloaded with NOAA raster charts. It also features the seamless "Time Zero" technology we previously described in detail along with the ease of use inherent in the ROTOKEY technology that makes it a breeze to use. You can store up to 12,000 trackpoints, 2,000 waypoints, and 200 routes. This model retails for $2600 on

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    Furuno NavNet GP1920C vx2 Chartplotter

    Furuno NavNet vx2 The NavNet vx2 combines radar, GPS/WAAS chartplotter, fishfinder, and a network weather component into one seamless navigation network. So on one display station, you can operate just about anything you want to and it is expandable if you want to add more options later. It's probably a good time to mention that Furuno's NavNet series was voted Best Integrated Navigation System by the National Marine Electronics Association for three years in a row. Like the other models, Furuno does a great job of making it easy to navigate and bring up any of the features or views you’d like to see with its well-designed user interface. This particular model retails for $3000 on

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    Furuno FCV 620 Color 5.6 in. Fishfinder

    Rating Average

    Furuno FCV 620 Color 5.6 in. FishFinder 

    The Furuno FCV 620 Color 5.6 inch fishfinder is certainly one of the better models on the market and although it doesn’t have chartplotting capabilities, we felt obliged to include it here if these other units are out of your price range and you are looking more for a stand-alone fishfinder anyway. Plus we covered most of what you will find in the other six Furuno chartplotters that are on the market by detailing the four we described above. This model is currently listed at $780 on It features a dual frequency transducer, excellent for deep water, and a brilliant 5.6" LCD that displays a whopping 64 colors. The Digital Signal Processing Filter makes it much easier to distinguish between unwanted baitfish and your coveted game fish on a highly readable screen. Fish in deep, murky water and it will still find your fish and detect the distance to the ocean floor and any other structure down there. This device is highly touted by fishing enthusiasts and that’s why it made the short list of the best fishfinders for saltwater.

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    As you have gleaned by now, Furuno chartplotters are well designed, award winning devices that maintain boater safety and ease of use top priorities. The fact that they're expandable makes it nice if you want to slowly build up your console and add on additional components in the future. The price range runs from around $1500 on the low end to $10,000 on the high end for an all-in-one navigational extravaganza. All in all, Furuno makes an outstanding product that has kept many boat owners satisfied for years.